Modification of Family Law Orders and Contempt Motions

Giulitto Law Office has attorneys who handle modification of support, custody, visitation orders and contempt motions.  After a divorce, dissolution or custody proceeding, the Court retains jurisdiction over certain issues.

-Post decree motions

The court that granted the decree of divorce retains jurisdiction over the divorce action.  If there is a change in circumstances that lead to the conclusion that the final decree should be modified, the court may modify the final decree.  The most common post decree motions are filed with regard to:

  • Spousal Support In order for a court to modify a spousal support order, the final decree must specifically state that the court retains jurisdiction to modify spousal support.  If the decree allows the court to hear the motion for modification, the court will determine whether a change in the parties’ circumstances justifies a modification.  Such changes in circumstances can include a change in one of the party’s income or if the ex-spouse receiving spousal is cohabitating with another person who is providing support.
  • Child Support The trial court will retain jurisdiction over child support issues.  If there is a change in income of one or both of the parties, the court may review child support payments.  The court will recalculate child support according to the appropriate worksheet and if there is a ten percent change from the current amount required to be paid, the court shall consider this a change of  circumstance substantial enough to require modification of the child support amount.
  • Allocation of Parental Rights (Custody) The trial court will also retain jurisdiction over the shared parenting arrangement or sole custody arrangement set forth in the decree.  The Court also retains jurisdiction regarding visitation issues.  Generally, if a custodial change is requested, the party requesting the change must a establish a “change in circumstances” since the last custody order.  This is a high burden as the law does not favor disrupting children by frequently changing custody.  Other modifications, such as parenting time or changes in the shared parenting plan would be guided by the best interests of the child.

-Contempt motions

If a party to proceeding is in violation of family court order, the other party may file a contempt motion.  If a party is found to be in contempt of court, they face penalties issued by the court.  Contempt motions are used frequently to enforce provisions in the final decree, visitation rights and child support payments.  If a party is found in contempt, they will face sanctions.  The most drastic of these sanctions do include jail time.

Contact Giulitto Law Office today with questions on Modification of Family Law Orders and Contempt Motions.